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Friday, May 30, 2008

Please and Thank You

Do you expect your child to use the words "please" and "thank you" when they want something?

Do you think your child should say "excuse me" when she is trying to get your attention or walk past somebody who is in her way?

Do you expect your child to address you as "Ma'am" or "Sir"?

Many parents do try to insist that their child use certain words to express good manners. Your child may ask you why he or she has to use these terms. You would probably tell them because it is respectful to do so. Of course, some parents will tell them they have to do it because the parent says so. I'm not a big fan of the "because I said so" mentality or explanations for anything. (I've been known to use it after attempts at explaining and reasoning failed to work, but I don't like it.)

There is one sure way of teaching you children these concepts, though. It does not require you to cajole, beg, plead, insist or even bribe your child into doing what you want her to do.

So what is this amazing miracle technique of which I speak? Are you sure you really want to know? After all, once I give you the secret to success, you'll no longer have any excuses for the behavior of a manner-less child. You'll be obligated to put this technique into play just to see if it really does work. Are you sure you still want me to tell you?

Okay, but you were warned. I do guarantee that this technique is by far the best for teaching your child proper manners. So once I tell you my technique, (for free, there's no money back guarantee here...) you need to implement this amazing technique and use it consistently for at least one month to begin seeing results. For optimal results, you will need to continue using this wonderful technique for an extended period of time.

Are you sure you are ready to commit to using this technique, possibly for the rest of your child's life, just to insure that your child grows up with proper manners and treats the people around her with the respect they deserve?

Okay. Now that you have committed to employing my guaranteed results technique, and you fully understand the type of commitment you are making, I will share my secret.

If you want your child to say "please" when she wants something, simply say "please" to her when you want something. - EXAMPLE: "Kira, would you put your toys in your room please."

If you want your child to say "thank you" when she gets what she wants, simply say "thank you" to her when you get what you want. - EXAMPLE: "Kira, thank you so much for putting your toys away."

If you want your child to say "you're welcome" when you thank her, then tell her she's welcome when she thanks you. - EXAMPLE: "Thank you mommy for my drink. --- You're welcome, Kira."

If you want your child to say "excuse me" when she passes by somebody or bumps into somebody, then say excuse me when you want to get past her or when you bump her accidentally.

If you want your child to tell people to have a nice day as she greets them, let her see you tell the cashier to have a nice day.

If you want your child to address you as "Ma'am", then learn to address her in the same fashion. (Kira has recently started saying "Yes Ma'am" when I ask her to do something. I realized that this was from me saying "Yes Ma'am" to her when she would ask for something. I didn't even try to teach her this, she just picked it up on her own.)

So, do you see how this works. Your child will learn best by observing and copying your actions. The more polite and courteous you are to your child, the more polite and courteous your child will be to you and all those people that she comes into contact with.

Teaching by example is, by far, the best technique that any parent could ever use to teach their child a lesson in proper behavior.

Now that I've told you what you need to do, please remember that you did commit to using my technique for at least one month in order to see how well it works. My assignment to you is this:

Go out into the world and be kind and polite to everybody you meet. Tell them "thank you" when they are kind to you. Say "please when you want something. Tell people to have a nice day. Most of all, when you ask your child to do something, use these amazing words to get what you want in a way that emphasizes how nicely it is to be addressed in this way.

If you expect these things of your child, you need to do these things yourself. If you do not use these words and phrases in your own interactions, your child will think that the only reason she has to do it is "because you said so."

Thank you for stopping by my page today and taking the time to read my thoughts.

I hope you have a really nice day filled with good mannered people


Petula Wright said...

Yes, I do this with my children. They are fairly good at saying please and thank you, but I do not require them to say ma'am. They are very good with excuse me.

SoccerMom said...

I have t say both of mine are really good at this also.
I have always been mindful of the kids and they give that back to me in return. My kids don't ever need to be reminded to thank someone etc... And my boy knows how to treat a lady, open the door, let them sit first when on the bus get up for a lady etc...
You are so right you get what you give.